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25 killed in naxal attack in Chhattisgarh
July 17, 2006 11:45 IST
Last Updated: July 17, 2006 16:59 IST
At least 25 people were killed and 80 injured, about 32 of them seriously, while 250 people were missing following an attack by some 800 armed Naxalites in Dantewada district on Monday, police said.
The Maoists brutally killed the villagers, and 20 of them were hacked to death with sharp weapons, while three were charred to death and two were shot dead by the Naxalites at Errabore relief camp, 550 km from the state capital, police and official sources told PTI over phone from Konta.
Of the nearly 250 people who are missing, 23 were kidnapped by the Naxalites from the camp, where about 4000 people had taken shelter, the sources said.
State Home Minister Ram Vichar Netam, on his way to the area despite bad weather, said security forces were searching for the Maoists who carried out the attack. The state was in constant touch with the Centre and a military helicopter had been sought to evacuate the injured, Netam told PTI.
At about 1 am, 800-armed Naxalites attacked a Central Reserve Police Force camp at Errabore to distract the security forces so that they could strike at the government-run relief camp at the same time, CRPF sources said, adding that after blocking all roads that connected Errabore, armed Naxalites indiscriminately fired at the CRPF camp from all sides.
At the same time, another group of armed Naxalites raided the relief camp located close to the Errabore police station. The rebels triggered blasts and attacked people with sharp weapons, and opened indiscriminate fire, the sources said.
The attack lasted about two hours and when CRPF personnel chased the Maoists in a bulletproof vehicle, the Naxalites rushed into nearby jungles, taking with them some people from the camp, they said.
Police and the CRPF are combing the area. Ever since the Salwa Judum or peace campaign against the Naxalites started on June 4 last year, over 300 villagers have been killed by Maoists. Because of the threat from Left wing extremists, over 50,000 people from about 700 villages of Dantewada district have taken shelter in 17 relief camps run by the state government.
"Senior police officers have rushed to the spot and we are now awaiting details of the incident. There was a quick response from the security forces and many naxals who took part in the attack were also killed," Gill told rediff.com over telephone from Raipur.